12/20/2011 06:19 pm ET | Updated Feb 19, 2012

Why I Miss Venice Beach


I've been back East for the last six years, Manhattan for five, then last fall missed the water so much I moved to the beaches of Westport, Connecticut. It's beautiful here but the Long Island Sound ain't no Pacific.

Kwaku Alston's photographs
of the Venice that we both love appeared in the New York Times today and hit me like a love letter out of the blue. Venice, CA, is one of the most-interesting places on the planet and the distillation of everything that is magical, lovely, dangerous and heartbreaking about Southern California.


Kwaku is practically the mayor of Venice, a world-famous photographer who's shot on every continent and everyone from the Obamas to Oscar winners. Seeing this global citizen finally train his lens on his own backyard is at once exhilarating and intimate.

If you live there and have forgotten why, look at your beach through his eyes and fall in love again. If you're like me and moved away, let the pang heavy your heart.
Check them out.